Shasta Marina houseboat at dusk on Shasta Lake

Shasta Marina houseboat at dusk on Shasta Lake

Houseboats are a superb way to spend quality time with your family or a group of friends. Water fun by day and star-studded views by night make for a scenic, fun, and adventurous getaway all rolled up into one fabulous outing. Just make sure you have all the right supplies on hand to help you make the most of your houseboat experience.

Food

Whenever there’s a vacation, food is a central part of it. Houseboats have fully-stocked kitchens, which means that you can cook whatever you want. There’s usually a grill onboard—enlist your hubby and several other grilling experts to grill the meat and vegetables for your meals.

Plan your food menu according to the type of weather you expect to have on the lake. Will it be cool and rainy? Or will it be hot and sunny? (At Shasta Lake, you can expect summers to be in the 90s or even in the 100s!) For cool days, you could have soups and chili for dinners. For hot days, you may just want some cool sandwiches and salads with watermelon on the side. If you’re planning to do some fishing, you could enjoy some fresh-caught fish!

Bring all your favorite drinks for refreshment throughout the day. If nothing else, make sure you’ve got lots and lots of drinking water and ice. You’ll need it, especially for hot days.

Clothing

You don’t need 15 changes of clothing for a houseboat. You can get away with a few t-shirts and shorts and a pair of flip flops. Definitely bring a pair of water shoes that you can wear both in the water and on a trail. Bring a wide-rimmed hat, two pairs of sunglasses (in case you break one), and lots and lots of sunscreen and insect repellent. You’ll need a light jacket or hoodie for cool evenings too. Bring your own toiletries. A houseboat isn’t exactly like a hotel that is stocked with shampoo and bath soap.

Other Miscellaneous Items

Houseboat rental companies usually supply a list of supplies that you need to bring. Generally, you’ll need to bring your own bedding, pillows, towels, and dish towels. Following are a few other things recommended by other houseboaters:

  • A ski boat, jet ski, or kayaks if you want to enjoy some watersports or take in more areas of the lake.
  • Your favorite water toys, such as floats and goggles.
  • An iPod, so you can enjoy your favorite music.
  • Flashlights, for those moments when you need to see in dark corners or need to make your way to the bathroom without waking everyone else.
  • Candles, for gorgeous candlelit dinners on the deck.
  • Throw rugs—most houseboats have hard floors.
  • An all-purpose cleaner and cleaning gloves.
  • Toilet bowl deodorizer—that toilet could start stinking after a day or two.
  • Games, knitting supplies, scrapbooking kits, movies, fishing tackle, or any other supplies for your favorite pastime activities.

Houseboats on Shasta Lake are well-stocked, particularly at Shasta Marina, but you’ll need to bring a few items of your own to make it a truly one-of-a-kind vacation. Taking a floating vacation on a houseboat is one of the best ways to bond with family and friends.

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